Significant shifts recorded in equity release criteria searching

Online broker searches in November showed significant changes in the equity release category, as well as some variation in the residential and BTL categories, according to the latest figures from Knowledge Bank.

The criteria search specialist said that in the equity release category, none of the top five searches in October had featured again in November – for the second month running, and for the eighth time in 2019.

Knowledge Bank said that its highest-ranked search, for ‘property with an annex/outbuildings/land/acreage,’ had also previously topped the search chart in February.

In second position, however, was ‘downsizing protection option’ – a search term that had only ever featured twice in the top five before. Knowledge Bank highlighted that several providers now offer this option so that borrowers can avoid incurring early repayment charges if they move.

Another new entry amongst the Knowledge Bank data was ‘lodger/boarder/rent a room,’ – a search that had never previously ranked inside the top five. The criteria search specialist noted that as well as an important potential income stream, younger lodgers can also provide valuable company for older people living alone, in some cases for the first time.

In the residential category, ‘maximum age at end of term’ held onto the highest-ranked search term it has maintained since February.

“It’s been a month of massive change in criteria searching with big movements across many lending categories,” commented Knowledge Bank CEO, Nicola Firth.

“The equity release market, especially, continues to throw up surprises, with searches rarely featuring in the top five in two consecutive months.

“With lenders’ criteria showing so much change from day to day, it is vital that brokers take advantage of all the tools at their disposal so they can stay one step ahead and continue to give clients the best possible advice. Only by using technology to their advantage can brokers ensure they are getting the best deal for their client.”

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